The human and economic toll of this viral pandemic are staggering. There is no place on Earth where fear and uncertainty do not prevail. No one knows long it will last or when it will peak, but every day we see more people infected and dying.
What we do know is how the virus is transmitted; directly by droplet inhalation (cough, sneeze), or by contact with mucous membranes. We also know that to reduce the rate of transmission means limiting person to person exposure; what we now call “social distancing”, and that’s a term I’m having difficulty with.
We are physically distancing, that’s different than social distancing, and what we need in these unprecedented times is to be socially connecting not distancing. We need to be engaged with each other, if not face to face, then through the magic of the Great Cloud which has transformed how we communicate in the world.
As a species, we need to be engaged, are not meant to be alone; we are born into this world connected to somebody else, and we can’t survive on our own, for years. We have dependent needs, we need to know and feel that there is somebody/something that will nurture us. We face the hard times better when we are supported by family/friends/community/tribe/ nation, they are soul sustaining.
We are actually doing it; teachers organizing motor parades driving through their students’ neighborhoods beeping horns and encouraging students to keep up on their studies, sandwich shops providing lunches for ER docs, people making facemasks for first responders, etc.etc. This crisis has encouraged more social connectedness than I ever thought imaginable… it’s virtual, but real enough for me. During this time of self-quarantine, I’m actually seeing my grandkids more than ever, I’m on Skype/Facetime/ and Zoom with friends around the world even though I’m staying inside.
And while we’re staying inside, this is also a good time to look inside. Look at this as an imposed meditation retreat that you would otherwise never have taken. This is a chance to break away from your everyday world with its usual expectations, and reflect on are you learning about what you can live with and what you can’t; what’s really important to you and need to keep you alive physically but spiritually?
We are physical distancing but socially connecting and we are healing in community. Stay well Relatives, there is more to celebrate than to fear.
Mi Takuye Oyasin
P. S. If you want a smile during these days, befriend me on Facebook and watch the Corona Man clown.